National Youth Agency (NYA) Covid-19 Latest Update 6th September 2021

The National Youth Agency (NYA) as the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England has developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. The guidance will support local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. It is intended to guide the youth sector in opening up services for young people at the right pace and time.

This guidance must be used in conjunction with the readiness framework and your existing safeguarding policies and procedures. It is complementary to government guidance on social distancing, travel and other measures which must be adhered to.

From 6th September 2021 the Readiness Level moves to GREEN

The NYA readiness level is now green and international travel will once more be supported (subject to delay and FCDO advice)

All young people will be able to attend indoor or outdoor activities. Youth provision for young people of all ages, both under and over 18 years of age, have the same requirements.

All youth provision may meet indoors or outdoors without limitations on group size. The regulations no longer require youth sector providers to limit their bubble sizes to a maximum number of attendees.

However, the NYA requires providers to review their Action Plans and Risk Assessments and take steps to reduce the risk of community transmission. For example, consider how to manage groups of young people to a manageable number to minimise the risk of transmission. Changes to the COVID Secure measures have been made from Step 4.

Online/digital, detached/outdoor and 1-2-1 youth sector provision will remain available to all young people.

Trips and visits are be permitted. Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted. The youth sector’s goal at all times should be to minimise the risk of COVID transmission.

Overnight and residential experiences are permitted. From the 19th July no group size restrictions apply to the youth sector. The same measures apply to all age groups.

For more detail on leading residentials and overnight events please see section below for more detail.

International travel is permitted in line with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice.

Guidance Document

Everyone should read the guidance document here and follow the recommended actions and requirements. This guidance is intended for use in England (Version 8) from the 6th September.


Previous Updates

From 19th July 2021 (Step 4) the Readiness Level remains at YELLOW.

The NYA expects to move the readiness level to green from September where in consultation with the Department for Education international travel will once more be supported (subject to delay and FCDO advice)

All young people will be able to attend indoor or outdoor activities. Youth provision for young people of all ages, both under and over 18 years of age, have the same requirements. 

All youth provision may meet indoors or outdoors without limitations on group size. The regulations no longer require youth sector providers to limit their bubble sizes to a maximum number of attendees. 

However, the NYA requires providers to review their Action Plans and Risk Assessments and take steps to reduce the risk of community transmission. For example, consider how to manage groups of young people to a manageable number to minimise the risk of transmission. Changes to the COVID Secure measures have been made from Step 4. 

Online/digital, detached/outdoor and 1-2-1 youth sector provision will remain available to all young people. 

Trips and visits are be permitted. Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted. The youth sector’s goal at all times should be to minimise the risk of COVID transmission. 

Overnight and residential experiences are permitted. Until the 19th July only groups of 30 are permitted (plus staff and support workers) for under 18’s. Until the 19th of July only groups of six, including staff, are permitted for over 18’s. From the 19th July no group size restrictions apply to the youth sector. The same measures apply to all age groups. 

Guidance Document

Everyone should read the guidance document here and follow the recommended actions and requirements. This guidance is intended for use in England (Version 7) from the 19th July. Click below to view the guidance documents.

A new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England. There may be additional advice for your area. Find out what you should do.

From Step 3 the Readiness Level is YELLOW.

All young people will be able to attend indoor or outdoor activities. However, the law applies differently for provision for young people under and over 18yrs of age.

Youth provision for under 18’s (and those who have only turned 18 post 31st August 2020) may meet indoors or outdoors without limitations on group size. The regulations no longer require youth sector providers to limit their bubble sizes to a maximum number of attendees (per bubble).

However, the NYA recommends that providers review their Action Plans and Risk Assessments and take steps to reduce the risk of community transmission. For example, consider how to manage groups of young people to a manageable number to minimise the risk of transmission. All standard COVID Secure measures (social distancing, hygiene and face coverings etc) will continue to be required.

Youth provision for over 18’s may meet indoors or outdoors in ‘Support Groups’ for vulnerable young people in groups of up to 30 (plus staff, volunteers, and carers). Indoor provision when not part of a support group (detached or adhoc delivery) must comply with the rule of six (including workers/volunteers). Support groups must be by invitation only.

Online/digital, detached/outdoor and 1-2-1 youth sector provision will remain available to all young people.

Trips and visits are be permitted and should remain local and should be completed the same day. Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted. When traveling organisers risk assessments should include the use of face coverings (for over 11’s where appropriate), social distancing measures where practical and good hygiene measures. Consider if a trip is necessary or if the same outcome can be achieved without the trip taking place. The youth sector’s goal at all times should be to minimise the risk of COVID transmission.

NB. If visiting a third parties’ venue, your group will need to fully comply with their COVID measures as well as this youth sector guidance. Some providers may require the use of bubbles and/or smaller group sizes etc to operate safely.

Overnight and residential experiences are permitted following strict requirements. Until the 21st June 2021 only groups of six are permitted (including staff). From 21st June 2021 residentials for groups of up to 30 young people (who were under the age of 18 on 31 August 2020) plus carers and workers is permitted. Residentials for youth groups involving over 18’s are permitted for a maximum group of 6 (including staff/carers).

Guidance Document

Everyone should read the guidance document below and follow the recommended actions and requirements. This guidance is intended for use in England (Version 6B) from the 21st June 2021. Click here to view the guidance documents.

A new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England. There may be additional advice for your area. Find out what you should do.

Guidance Document Version 6

Roadmap Step 2 from 12th April 2021

From Step 2 the Readiness Level is AMBER.

All young people will be able to attend indoor or outdoor activities. However, the law applies differently for provision for young people under and over 18yrs of age. This applies if the young persons 18th birthday fell before the 31st August 2020.

Youth provision for under 18’s may meet indoors or outdoors without limitations on group size. The regulations no longer require youth sector providers to limit their bubble sizes to a maximum number of attendees (per bubble). However, the NYA recommends that providers review their Action Plans and Risk Assessments and take steps to reduce the risk of community transmission. For example, consider how to manage groups of young people to a manageable number to minimise the risk of transmission. All standard COVID Secure measures (social distancing, hygiene and face coverings etc) will continue to be required.

Youth provision for over 18’s may meet indoors or outdoors in ‘Support Groups’ for vulnerable young people in groups of 15 (plus staff, volunteers, and carers). Outdoor provision when not part of a support group (detached or adhoc delivery) must comply with the rule of six (including workers/volunteers). Support groups must be by invitation only and places offered to vulnerable young people (locally defined as vulnerable).

Online/digital, detached/outdoor and 1-2-1 youth sector provision will remain available to all young people.

Trips and visits will be permitted, but overnight and residential experiences will remain prohibited (under review). Presently trips should remain local and able to be completed the same day. Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted. When travelling organisers risk assessments should include the use of face coverings (for over 11’s where appropriate), social distancing measures where practical and good hygiene measures. Consider if a trip is necessary or if the same outcome can be achieved without the trip taking place. The youth sector’s goal at all times should be to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

NB: If visiting a third parties’ venue, your group will need to fully comply with their COVID-19 measures as well as this youth sector guidance. Some providers may require the use of bubbles and/or smaller group sizes etc to operate safely. International travel remains prohibited, but under review.

If you feel your local situation cannot be managed in a safe way, you should not re-open until you have put sufficient measures in place. This is essential for avoiding unnecessary risks to your staff, young people and the community.

Guidance Document (5.2)

Everyone should read the guidance document below and follow the recommended actions and requirements. This guidance is intended for use in England (Version 5.2). Click on the here to view the guidance documents.

Roadmap Step 1B from 29th March 2021

From the 29th March 2021 the youth sector will move to AMBER on the Readiness Framework for all outdoor activities. From this date open access and drop in services can resume for outdoor only activities for ALL young people. Young people accessing outdoor activities may only enter premises for personal welfare reasons (use of toilets etc). The use of such facilities should be carefully managed, risk assessed and subject to appropriate safeguarding measures.

Indoor support groups (up to 15 young people, plus workers/ volunteers) may continue for young people if one of the following applies:

  1. Vulnerable children, young people and young adults (18+)
  2. Other children or young people, where the provision is (the following does not apply to over 18’s):
    1. Reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group.
    2. A targeted one-to-one session or group to provide support and assistance for a specific issue.
    3. Being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education.
    4. For the purposes of obtaining a regulated qualification, meeting the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments.

From the 29th March, youth groups that meet outdoors no longer have group size restrictions. Groups can be of any size, although organisations should be cautious to ensure suitable safeguarding, supervision ratios and social distancing is in place.

Additionally, online/digital, detached/outdoor youth activities and 1-2-1 support is permitted for all young people. Trips and visits are permitted for all young people. Although, residentials, camping and overnight stays are prohibited. Travel should be kept to a minimum at all times.

Guidance Document (Version 5.1)

Roadmap Step 1A from 8th March 2021 (in England)
From the 8th March and until the start of Step 1 B the youth sector will remain at Readiness Level RED.

Read the full Guidance (Version 5) here

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